I think you'll agree with me that a phalanx of dark limos wending their way up a driveway is never a good sign.
I mean, the Godfather is usually quite content nowadays to Skype. Why he would travel 3000 miles to pay a personal visit is beyond me. I have to admit my first thought was that I was going to be fired as a Middle Grade Mafioso. (And when I say fired, I don't mean "sacked, let go, and made redundant." I mean TERMINATED.
Here's how the visit went:
MGM: "Well hi there, Don Corleone. What a pleasant surprise."
Don Vito: "Cut the caprese, Michele. Boys, take a seat. Michele and I have some business to discuss."
MGM: "Business? Haha! I hope it means you've found me an agent, Godfather."
DV: (Holding out a wrinkled copy of the Wall Street Journal) "See this, Michele. How come your name is not in this?"
MGM: (squinting at newspaper) "Um, isn't that the piece about YA that caused a firestorm on Twitter and had every self-respecting YA blogger fulminating to the nines? Why would I be in it?"
DV: "Because there's no such thing as bad publicity, Michele. This dame who wrote this article, she's gonna get a Pulitzer Prize."
MGM: "I don't think so, Godfather. Most people thought it was a load of tripe."
DV: "Tripe, you say? My grandmother, rest her soul, used to make tripe." (Kisses fingers). "Delicious. Anyway, this sort of noise is what you Top-grade writers need. You wanna I send the boys around to Wall Street and convince the lady to write about how dark and scary Top-grade is? Then we can get you guyses' books banned, and everyone will be talking about you. Good business model, eh? Even that schmuck Donald Trump would agree."
MGM: (whispers) "It's middle grade, for the last time." (In a louder voice) "No writer would wish for a book to be banned, Godfather. And anyway, it's all a bit of a tempest in a tea-cup, as we say in England."
DV: "Well, you guys had better think up something, unless you wanna forever be the poor relation to these YA guys and dolls. The boys and I, we're here to help. We could do you a little horse head in a bed or--"
MGM: "Stop! Excuse me, Godfather. These are children's delicate sensibilities we're talking about here. They want rainbows, puppies, rainbow-loving puppies..."
DV: "What kind of children do you know, Michele? Take it from me, the little innocents will do you a Lord of the Flies the minute you turn your back. It's not the children you need to protect from the dark, it's the adults..."
I'll stop, because the Godfather called for wine and accordions and the whole thing went downhill from there (teary-eyed vignettes about childhoods among the olive groves, blowing up cars, and siphoning funds from public schools.) So yeah, yet more fallout from the WSJ. But at least I get to keep my blogging job.
And drive around Portland in a big, black limo.